Because you are carrying a child for someone else, your hospital experience will be different than what you may be used to with traditional pregnancies.
You and the intended parents you work with are equally important parts of the surrogate delivery experience. Your surrogacy professional will work to create a hospital plan that you both are comfortable with.
In general, your surrogate birth plan will include detailed information about what will happen:
- Before your surrogate hospital stay
- During your surrogate hospital stay
- After your surrogate hospital stay
Each surrogacy birth experience is unique, and your surrogacy professional can give you an idea of what to expect when you give birth. If you’ve yet to start working with a surrogacy professional and want to, you can contact us today. But, if you want to find out more about how typical surrogate childbirths go, continue reading.
Before Your Surrogate Hospital Stay
The details of your hospital stay will be determined early in your surrogacy journey. Your preferences for your surrogate delivery experience may factor into your matching with intended parents and will be discussed while drafting your surrogacy contract.
Some things that you and the intended parents will discuss early on will include:
- What hospital you will deliver at
- Any additional assistance you want in the delivery room (for example, a doula)
- Your and the intended parents’ preferences for who will be in the delivery room
- Who will cut the cord and hold the baby first
- Whether the intended parents want you to breastfeed after birth
- The financial compensation and coverage the intended parents will give
- What kind of delivery pictures (if any) will be taken
- And more
Your surrogacy specialist will guide you through this conversation, bringing up topics you may be unaware of so you are fully prepared.
Your surrogacy specialist will directly communicate with your OBGYN and hospital to create a surrogate delivery plan that meets your and the intended parents’ expectations.
Your specialist will also give you a list of things to prepare for your hospital bag, just in case you start having contractions before your delivery date.
During Your Surrogate Hospital Stay
When you are ready to give birth, your surrogacy specialist will help arrange your transportation to the hospital, if needed. Once there, you will be given your room, where you will either deliver vaginally or go to an operating room for a C-section.
During the Surrogate Delivery
Whether or not the intended parents will be in the delivery room with you will often depend upon hospital policies. In most surrogacies, one or both of the intended parents can be by your side while you deliver.
From there, they will be able to:
- Hold the baby
- Cut the umbilical cord
- Complete any other delivery experiences you wish to share with them
If they cannot be in the operating or delivery room, they may be able to watch through a window.
Again, your surrogacy specialist will arrange this before you arrive at the hospital. You will know what to expect ahead of time.
After Your Surrogate Delivery
After you give birth, you and the intended parents will likely spend time together as you recover. The intended parents may or may not have their own room in the hospital. If they do, their baby will likely stay with them following delivery. If they don’t, they may stay with you (if you are comfortable) or stay in a local hotel.
While intended parents will want some bonding time with their baby, they will also respect your role and allow you to spend time with all of them while you are recovering from your surrogate delivery.
During this time, you will likely be able to have your family and friends visit you and the baby, and the intended parents may have their loved ones come, too. Again, these preferences are determined before you arrive at the hospital.
Your Surrogate Hospital Discharge
Depending on your delivery experience, you can expect to stay in the hospital between 24 and 72 hours after birth to recover. The baby will also remain in the hospital until they are cleared for discharge, usually at least 24 hours if they do not require admittance to the NICU.
Post-Surrogacy Legal Paperwork
Depending on the surrogacy laws in your state, you may be required to sign additional paperwork after birth to establish the intended parents’ rights to their baby. If this is the case, your surrogacy specialist and surrogacy lawyer will be there to explain your legal rights and what you are signing.
Your Relationship with the Intended Parents
Because the intended parents will have custody of the baby, they will likely be discharged from the hospital at a different time than you. This is normal, and your surrogacy specialist will explain what this goodbye may look like. Many intended parents will be happy to continue contact with you after the baby is born, and the “goodbye” at the hospital may be more like a “see you later.”
After Your Surrogate Childbirth
At this time, you may feel some confusing emotions due to your pregnancy hormones. Your surrogacy specialist will provide practical and emotional support during your recovery in the hospital and once you return home.
You will likely have a few weeks of maternity leave after delivery, and your surrogate compensation will cover any lost wages. You will also receive your final payment of base compensation after a successful delivery. Any plans to continue breastfeeding for the intended parents or stop your lactation will have already been determined before you return home.
At this point, your surrogacy journey will be complete, and any additional contact you have with the intended parents after your delivery will depend upon the personal relationship you built during your surrogacy journey.
Next Steps Toward Creating Your Surrogacy Delivery Plan
To get a more accurate idea of what your surrogacy delivery experience may look like, speak with a surrogacy professional today.